Misinformation: an empirical study with scientists and communicators during the COVID-19 pandemic

The objective of this study was to study the experiences and views within the health science community regarding the spread and prevention of science misinformation within and beyond the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Misinformation: an empirical study with scientists and communicators during the COVID-19 pandemic

    ‘Learn from the lessons and don’t forget them’: identifying transferable lessons for COVID-19 from meningitis A, yellow fever and Ebola virus disease vaccination campaigns

    Low and middle-income countries (LMICs) have significant experience implementing vaccination campaigns to respond to epidemic threats but are often hindered by chronic health system challenges. We sought to identify transferable lessons for COVID-19 vaccination from the rollout of three vaccines that targeted adult groups in Africa and South America: MenAfriVac (meningitis A); 17D (yellow fever) and rVSV-ZEBOV (Ebola virus disease).

    Source: ‘Learn from the lessons and don’t forget them’: identifying transferable lessons for COVID-19 from meningitis A, yellow fever and Ebola virus disease vaccination campaigns

      COVID-19: Silencing health workers, researchers, and journalists caused unnecessary deaths, says Amnesty International

      Governments are causing unnecessary covid-19 deaths by trying to silence healthcare workers, journalists, and researchers, Amnesty International has said.

      By clamping down on freedom of expression they have damaged peoples’ ability to access accurate and timely information to help them respond to the global health crisis, the human rights group said in a report Silenced and Misinformed: Freedom of Expression in Danger During COVID-19. Simultaneously, big tech has amplified the reach of inaccurate and dangerous information.

      Source: COVID-19: Silencing health workers, researchers, and journalists caused unnecessary deaths, says Amnesty International

        What Does it Mean to Engage the Public in the Response to COVID-19?

        The authors of this article examine the different types of demands found in calls for public engagement in pandemic decision making and explain how to meet them. They focus on the responsibilities of governments because their decisions have far reaching social consequences, but institutions such as hospital systems, schools, corporations, and universities also make decisions that profoundly affect the communities they serve and should engage affected communities in their decision making.

        Source: What Does it Mean to Engage the Public in the Response to COVID-19?

          Social Media and Vaccine Hesitancy

          The authors globally evaluate the effect of social media and online foreign disinformation campaigns on vaccination rates and attitudes towards vaccine safety.

          The study found that the use of social media to organise offline action is highly predictive of the belief that vaccinations are unsafe, with such beliefs mounting as more organization occurs on social media. In addition, the prevalence of foreign disinformation is highly statistically and substantively significant in predicting a drop in mean vaccination coverage over time.

          Source: Social Media and Vaccine Hesitancy

            Communication Tools in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond which Can Optimise Professional Practice and Patient Care

            Following the outbreak of COVID-19, the World Health Organization made a number of recommendations regarding the utilisation of healthcare services. In general, there has been a reduction in elective healthcare services including outpatient clinics, diagnostic services and elective surgery.

            Inevitably these reductions for all but the most urgent clinical work will have a detrimental impact on patients, and alternative ways of working including the use of telemedicine may help to mitigate this. Similarly, electronic solutions may enable clinicians to maintain inter and intra-professional working in both clinical and academic settings. Implementation of electronic solutions to minimise direct patient contact will be new to many clinicians, and the sheer number of software solutions available and varying functionality may be overwhelming to anyone unfamiliar with ‘virtual communication’.

            In this article, we will aim to summarise the variety of electronic communication platforms and tools available for clinicians and patients, detailing their utility, pros and cons, and some ‘tips and tricks’ from our experience through our work as an international research collaborative.

            Source: Communication Tools in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond which Can Optimise Professional Practice and Patient Care

              Prioritising the Role of Community Health Workers in the COVID-19 Response

              COVID-19 disproportionately affects the poor and vulnerable. Community health workers are poised to play a pivotal role in fighting the pandemic, especially in countries with less resilient health systems.

              Drawing from practitioner expertise across four WHO regions, this article outlines the targeted actions needed at different stages of the pandemic to achieve the following goals:

              1. PROTECT healthcare workers
              2. INTERRUPT the virus
              3. MAINTAIN existing healthcare services while surging their capacity
              4. SHIELD the most vulnerable from socioeconomic shocks.

              While decisive action must be taken now to blunt the impact of the pandemic in countries likely to be hit the hardest, many of the investments in the supply chain, compensation, dedicated supervision, continuous training and performance management necessary for rapid community response in a pandemic are the same as those required to achieve universal healthcare and prevent the next epidemic.

              Source: Prioritising the Role of Community Health Workers in the COVID-19 Response

                British Medical Journal COVID-19 Hub

                British Medical Journal’s (BMJ) COVID-19 hub supports health professionals and researchers with practical guidance, online CPD courses, as well as the latest news, comment, and research from BMJ. The content is free and updated daily.

                Source: British Medical Journal COVID-19 Hub

                  YouTube as a Source of Information on COVID-19: A Pandemic of Misinformation?

                  The COVID-19 pandemic is this century’s largest public health emergency and its successful management relies on the effective dissemination of factual information. As a social media platform with billions of daily views,

                  YouTube has tremendous potential to both support and hinder public health efforts. However, the usefulness and accuracy of most viewed YouTube videos on COVID-19 have not been investigated.  A YouTube search was performed on 21 March 2020 using keywords ‘coronavirus’ and ‘COVID-19’, and the top 75 viewed videos from each search were analysed.

                  The result was that over one-quarter of the most viewed YouTube videos on COVID-19 contained misleading information, reaching millions of viewers worldwide. As the current COVID-19 pandemic worsens, public health agencies must better use YouTube to deliver timely and accurate information and to minimise the spread of misinformation. This may play a significant role in successfully managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

                  Source: YouTube as a Source of Information on COVID-19: A Pandemic of Misinformation?

                    Prevent, Detect, Respond: How Community Health Workers can Help in the Fight against COVID-19

                    In previous epidemics, rapidly expanding healthcare teams through community health workers (CHWs) has proven to be fundamental to an effective response. During recent Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemics in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and west Africa, nations like Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria, and the DRC rapidly hired, trained, and equipped thousands of CHWs from communities affected by or at risk of Ebola.

                    Source: Prevent, Detect, Respond: How Community Health Workers Can Help in the Fight against COVID-19